By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma State University campus in Oklahoma City is giving scholarships to an entire class of fifth graders.

A class of 31 students at Westwood Elementary received the scholarships covering tuition, fees and books during a ceremony Tuesday night.

Westwood Elementary will see approximately 40 percent of their predominantly Hispanic students drop out before completing high school and only 13 percent attend college, according to statistics released by the college.

College officials say they hope the scholarships will encourage more students from the inner-city school to attend college.

"OSU-OKC would like to see an increase in high school graduation and continuing education, which is why the university plans to provide Westwood students this unique opportunity- free education", said Janet Stricklin of OSU-OKC.

The college plans to do the same for fifth-grade students at Westwood Elementary in 2010 and 2011m, said. Dr. Jay Kinzer with the college.

"If you can plant the seeds early and give them the opportunity and the confidence," Kinzer said. "Then more likely they are to actually to do it."

Parent Amy Elam said her family is grateful for the assistance.

"I've told her from the very beginning she's going to college; she doesn't have a choice," Elam said. "College is so outrageous and especially with the way the economy is right now. So, she's got a free scholarship to go to school and get a free education and go on to get a good career."

Qualifying students must complete their education in the Oklahoma City Public School District.